ABOUT THE COMPANY
Formed in 2014 KC Communications is a marketing consultancy based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. Working with a variety of SME’s, educational establishments and not-for-profits to provide marketing support across PR, social media, events, digital marketing, creative, branding and much more.
In less than three years the business has achieved significant growth and now hosts an impressive roster of small and medium enterprises in a wide range of sectors including education, accounting, manufacturing, technology, security, and recruitment.
The founder and director of KC Communications is Katrina Cliffe:
“I began my career as a 15 year old apprentice, I no idea what career path I wished to take. Ultimately, I wanted my own freedom and the money to help me achieve that! I was lucky enough to obtain a role within a marketing environment and from this stemmed my love of the industry.
When I started out, I had spent 5 ½ years working for a tech organisation, working from home, they were based in Dublin and I travelled internationally. I had no local business contacts whatsoever, yet in my first month of establishing the business I had 4 clients on board”
Fast forward 2 and a half years and in a short time Katrina had grown her team to 5, and faced a classic challenge for a thriving new business….they were rapidly outgrowing their space as they expanded, and needed solutions to give them room to manoeuvre!
Having no awareness of the kinds of support available when she started the business, Katrina was told about the AD:VENTURE programme and went on to meet her AD:VENTURE advisor, Paul. First steps were to look at the foundations of the business, and to identify challenges and opportunities. The office move was the key development opportunity identified for the business, as part of a three stage growth plan, Paul talked Katrina through how the support from AD:VENTURE could support company growth through learning and development opportunities, such as leadership mentoring, and also through match funded grant support.
As the offices KC Communications were in were not suitable to accommodate their rapid growth and plans for expansion, Katrina started to investigate options for the team to move to bigger premises with better parking, also in keeping with the business plan and strategy of moving the business up the value chain.
The team were based in Huddersfield, really liked the location, but were limited in terms of office space they could move to, that could facilitate what they needed.
Katrina says “For our industry image is key, and our location and office set up is a reflection of our brand. We were keen to move forward and show we were serious about our growth plans. This move meant we could cement our position in the industry and show that we mean business.”
The location was found, and the move was a bold one! Taking on a 5 year lease is a big commitment for any growing business. The benefits however, far outweighed the risks, with the new space offering scope for growth, providing the desk space to recruit new team members and also enabling the business the opportunity to explore the delivery of training sessions, diversifying the offer of KC Communications.
As Katrina had identified her new location, the support the team really needed in addition to the hands on help and advice from their advisor, was support towards the refurbishment of their new office space to meet the short growth objectives of more space, better location, more staff and onsite training delivery.
The premises were in good condition, and in a great location, but did need some work on the fit out to deliver the look and feel Katrina wanted for her clients. Katrina discussed her options with her advisor to make the new premise move and fit out more affordable, and still keep cash flow in strong position.
The AD:VENTURE grant was discussed, and after some work on the grant application, this was submitted along with a robust business plan and forecast and KC Communications were awarded just over £7,000 towards their £30,000 project to support the refurbishments. This included chairs and tables for meeting spaces, IT equipment, water boiler, legal fees and labour.
The move has also meant Katrina could continue with her recruitment plans and in addition to recruiting her operations manager, is still building her great team, with space to do so!
For KC Comms, support through the AD:VENTURE programme has helped in a number of ways, from the advantages of having a one to one mentor to help look at the business from another angle, to having access to financial support to boost growth.
Katrina adds “Initially I no idea what help was out there. Knowing you are going to get some money back towards a big move like this has allowed me to approach this move with much more confidence, supporting cash flow and allowing us to develop much faster than planned, accelerating our growth.
I believe through this support we have moved forward much faster, and we look and feel more professional. This instils confidence in us a business to achieve results. It’s also opened up new opportunities, such as starting to provide training facilities. Without this support we would not have been able to do this as confidently, or in this timeframe. Our advisor Paul has been brilliant, and it’s reassuring to have someone you can go to when you have a question or crisis!”
Another great outcome for Katrina are the welcome benefits the move is having on the well-being of the team. The new office has space for the team to exercise, do Yoga in lunchtimes and get away from their desk space to eat.
Katrina say’s “We even have a lovely new roof terrace area where we can host clients, or the team can break away for some fresh air!”
Next steps for KC Communications…..more growth!! Having met the company’s short term objectives, Katrina is now on to phase two and three, further embedding her business as a respected brand…..watch this space!